Archive for Thursday, April 15, 2004

New city pool could be open in spring 2005

City Council to start process Thursday

April 15, 2004

It didn't take long for word to get out that De Soto was in the market for a new swimming pool.
De Soto City Administrator Greg Johnson's phone was busy the Wednesday morning after De Soto voters approved a $2.65 million bond issue to build a new swimming pool behind the Community Center. Construction companies, engineering consultants and design firms called with requests to become part of the project.
De Soto will get back with them soon. Should the City Council act on a proposed letter on its agenda Thursday, the city will hit the street the next day with requests for proposals from design firms.
The Council will also consider structuring the bond issue in the coming weeks.
Among those visiting with Johnson on the pool the day after the referendum were De Soto City Councilwomen Mitra Templin and Linda Zindler.
Templin, who's involvement with the new pool extends back to her role as chairwoman of a special De Soto Parks and Recreation pool committee, said she and Zindler wanted to get things moving with the bond issue and design so the pool could open for the 2005 season. During the referendum campaign, the city's design consultant said a 2005 opening was possible, Templin said.
"I don't think it's unreasonable," she said. "My objective is let's get down to business so we can get this opened by 2005.
"We have the basic concept. It's just a matter of who can do it the most creatively, most efficiently, and most expeditiously."
A 2005 opening was possible, Anderson said, but it would be tight schedule. The keys would be for the City Council to come to quick agreement on details of the pool's design and that the design and construction firm understand the importance of a 2005 opening.
"If you want something done, you can get something done," he said. "If you frame it that way, you can get it done."
Coaching his estimates with the caveat he had never built a pool, the mayor said with average weather it would take about eight months to design and build a pool once the city settled on a design firm.
"It's very aggressive, but it can be done," he said.
Councilman Emil Urbanek agreed and said he wanted the Council to act quickly on the bond and requests for proposals. But he was less optimistic about an opening a little more than 13 months away.
"It would be pushing it to get it open in 2005 -- really pushing it," he said. "Sometimes you get what you plan for. I would hate to hurry it. I would rather take a little more time and get it right."
The pool might not be ready for a 2005 opening, Anderson said. But he didn't want to concede that yet. The Council should start with that aggressive schedule in mind, he said.

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